A strong south wind will develop today as much of the northern plains will be sandwiched between a strong polar high pressure center and a developing low pressure center in the prairie provinces of Canada. A south wind in the 20-35 mph is expected today with some higher gusts. The wind will help bring in warmer air with highs in the 20s and 30s, but it may never feel that warm with the strong south wind blowing.
Associated with that low pressure center in the prairie provinces of Canada is a strong Arctic cold front that will push through the region late tonight into tomorrow. That cold front is expected to be in Minnesota and eastern South Dakota by 10:00 AM on Tuesday. Along the front a disturbance will come out of the Rocky Mountains, tap into some Gulf of Mexico moisture and produce a few inches of snow. The most likely location for snow of consequence will be in South Dakota and southern and central Minnesota. Southeastern North Dakota will be on the edge of this snow band and there is some question as to how far north the snow will get. Any locations with even some very light snow mixed in with the powerful wind will have potential for hazardous driving conditions.
With a high likelihood of snow and strong wind falling in parts of South Dakota and southern Minnesota there are already Blizzard Watches and Warnings posted in those area as well as a Winter Weather Advisory for eastern Minnesota into Wisconsin. With the exception of southern and southeastern North Dakota little snow is foreseen and with the snow on the ground already crusted, the main concerns will be the bitterly cold temperatures that will be felt tomorrow especially when combined with the strong wind excepted behind the front.
The wind is expected to increase to the 25-40 mph range on Tuesday, which will attribute to falling temperatures in the morning, with the strong March sun perhaps briefly steadying those temperatures on Tuesday afternoon, but then setting us up for a very cold Wednesday and Thursday morning. Tonight into tomorrow appears to be the one main threat of snow this week in the locations mentioned and after several days of below average temperatures, some moderation Friday into Saturday. Perhaps the warmest air of 2015 for a few days next week. More on that tomorrow.